Super Bowl MVP doesn't shy from faith
ARLINGTON, Texas (BP)--Late on a rainy Sunday night at Cowboys Stadium, just moments after leading the Green Bay Packers to a 31-25 Super Bowl XLV victory, quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn't shy away from talking about his faith on sports' biggest stage.
"You know, God doesn't care who wins this game," he told reporters after the game. "He only cares who gets the glory and He got the glory tonight.
"God has always had a plan for my life and I appreciate the platform and the opportunity to be with a great group of men with a great group of character. We can celebrate together."
While Rodgers earned his first MVP award by completing 24 of 39 passes for 304 yards with three touchdown passes, the honor could have just as easily gone to his spiritual sidekick, wide receiver Greg Jennings.
He caught four passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns, plus a critical fourth quarter catch to blunt the Steelers' comeback, but after the game Jennings also pointed to Christ.
"If you honor God He will raise you up and tonight He raised us up," Jennings said.
"This is probably the largest platform I will ever have to share my faith before people and it's always great to have the chance and this opportunity. I'm required to have a voice because I have a stage and a platform."
Three years ago, little-known Christian wide receiver David Tyree became a Super Bowl star with his last-second catch in the New York Giants' upset victory. On Sunday Jennings stepped in for injured starter Donald Driver with a career playoff high and had the same chance to share with hundreds of reporters in an extended post-game interview session.
"I doesn't really matter what man says. It only matters what God says. [Faith] is greater than football and we understand that more than most people know. It's not all about the I, but the we."
His first touchdown pass from Rodgers came on a 21-yard catch and run late in the second quarter. He added his second score on an 8-yard reception early in the fourth quarter, giving the Packers a 28-17 lead.
After the Steelers had cut the deficit to 28-25, Jennings snagged a critical 33-yard pass with less than six minutes left in the game on a third-and-10 play, which led to a field goal but more importantly helped the Packers milk the clock.
After each one of his scores, Jennings celebrated in the end zone with his teammates, pointing to the sky to signify his dependence on God for all good things.
"It think it's appropriate to praise Him in the end zone. I'm not in it for man's reward; I'm in it for God's reward and to get to His gates.
"I just want to let people know what it's all about. One of the Scriptures I refer to a lot is 'To whom much is given, much is required.'
Art Stricklin is a Dallas-based sports correspondent.